The Philosophy of Naturopathic Medicine
I ran across this in my file of random articles and thought it might be fun to share, I don’t have a source to give credit to, so if anyone knows which book this came out of please let us know. Thanks!
Naturopathic medicine is a distinct system of primary health care – an art, science, philosophy and practice of diagnosing, treating and preventing disease.
Below are the six principles of healing that are the foundation for Naturopathic Medicine.
1) Healing Power of Nature
The healing process is ordered and intelligent. The body has the inherent ability, vitality, to not only heal itself and restore health, but also to ward off disease. Illness is not caused simply by an invasion of external agents or germs, but is a manifestation of the organism’s attempt to defend and heal itself. The Naturopathic Physicians role is to identify and remove agents blocking the healing process, bolster the patient’s healing capacity and support the creation of a healthy internal and external environment.
2) Treat the Whole Person
Health and disease results from a complex interaction of physical, mental, emotional, genetic, spiritual, environmental, social and other factors. The harmonious functioning of all aspects of the individuals essential to health. Within the body, the different systems are intimately connected, dynamically balanced. “Dis-ease” or imbalance in one part directly affects- may cause disease in – other parts of that whole. There is never a single cause for disease. All the “pieces” must be integrated in order to create a whole picture of a person’s health.
3) First Do No Harm
Respecting the inherent ability of the organism to heal itself, the physician must be ever mindful of the consequences or side effects of treatment. The more gentle and non-invasive the therapy, the less disruptive it will be to the patient’s integral whole. Whenever possible, suppression of symptoms is avoided, as suppression may interfere with the healing process.
4) Identify and Treat the Cause
Illness does not occur without cause and symptoms (nausea, rash, headache) are the not the cause of illness. Symptoms are signals that the body is out of balance and are an expression of the body’s attempt to heal itself. Causes originate on many levels, but are often found in the patient’s lifestyle, diet, habits, or emotional state. When only the symptoms are treated, the underlying causes remain, and the patient may develop a more serious, chronic condition.
5) Prevention is the Best Cure
Health is a reflection of how we choose to live. Physicians help patients recognize their choices and how those choices affect their health. The physician assess risk factors and hereditary susceptibility to disease and makes appropriate intervention to prevent illness.
6) Doctor as Teacher
The original meaning of the word “doctor” was “teacher.” A physician is a facilitator for a patient’s healing process. One of the physician’s principal responsibilities is to educate the patient and encourage self responsibility for health. A cooperative doctor-patient relationship has inherent therapeutic value.